Groceries and the City

Little old lady or urbanite?

It’s been just over a year since we bid farewell to Relay Foods, and grocery shopping in the city hasn’t gotten any easier.

Despite the availability of other delivery services (Peapod, Instacart, and others, including Amazon), I still haven’t found anything that meets our needs and desires on quality, selection, and price. Even Door to Door Organics, the company that merged with and replaced Relay, never met our needs, and is now out of business.


We live in a beautiful part of the city, but have no full-size groceries nearby. Two small markets are great for mid-week fill-in trips, or the occasional item, but untenable for weekly shopping. Nearby full-size groceries are either ridiculously expensive, or ridiculously low quality. The farmer’s market here only runs April through December, and does not offer everything we need, so there would still have to be a grocery trip.

Double harrumph.

So I’ve been driving to a (relatively) close Korean market for incredible deals on fresh produce and fish, then stopping at a regular grocery for everything else. Since I’m always keeping an eye out for maximizing efficiency, getting the most bang for my buck, and putting high quality, fresh foods on my table, I’m always looking for other options.

Two recently came up… one was new to me, and one is something I’ve heard of time and again, and even tried once (and it was a less than ideal experience, but I was unprepared).

Hungry Harvest looks kinda cool. It seems like a modern twist on a CSA, with a bit more customization available, and I’m officially intrigued.

The idea of having fresh produce delivered right to my door is obviously appealing… but also helping to reduce food waste is another big bonus.

Downside? The delivery day for our area is not exactly ideal, but… meh… I can work around that.

The other option, the one I failed to be wowed by in the past, is Aldi.

I have several friends who swear by Aldi. I remain unconvinced.

It’s not the deposit a (refundable) quarter for a cart – though that is one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy my previous attempt there, I was unaware of this and didn’t have a damn quarter. Nor is it the bring your own bag policy – heck I prefer that anyway. The rapid fire checkout where you load your groceries on the belt and then reload them back into your cart is a bit disconcerting and annoying, but I get the purpose.

But none of those are the reason behind my skepticism.

What is? Ah… well… I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m a bit of a food snob, and I’m not 100% certain I’ll get the quality I have come to expect at a discount grocery like Aldi. I have plenty of reasons for this level of doubt.

Yeah, yeah… I know… I’m a horrible human being, a complete and utter snob, and an elitist asshole. What else is new?

Meanwhile, I did the research. There is an Aldi not too far from the Korean market I favor… So this week, when I do my grocery shopping, I’ll start there  – quarter in hand – and see how it goes.

As for Hungry Harvest? The first available delivery is not until the 18th, so we’ll see…